Saturday, May 05, 2007

From the Mouths of Authors

These are thoughts from a few of my favorite authors:
"When people say there is too much violence in my books, what they are saying is there is too much reality in life." - Joyce Carol Oates

"You expect far too much of a first sentence. Think of it as analogous to a good country breakfast: what we want is something simple, but nourishing to the imagination." - Larry McMurtry

"I try, and I think I succeed, in making my readers feel sorry for my psychopaths, because I do." - Ruth Rendell

"[His characters] are always 7 feet tall and invincible, mine are 5 feet 8 and nervous." - Elmer Kelton

"Lots of people want to have written; they don't want to write. In other words, they want to see their name on the front cover of a book and their grinning picture on the back. But this is what comes at the end of a job, not at the beginning." - Elizabeth George

"I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I'm going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box." - James Lee Burke

"I consciously try to end my novels at a point where I won't have to wonder about my characters ever again." - Anne Tyler

"I leave out the parts that people skip." - Elmore Leonard

"I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth." - Bill Bryson

"Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise." - Philip Roth


  1. I loved this post Sam. My favorite was Elmore Leonard's quote!

  2. Amy, I like that Leonard quote because it sums up his style so well. His books have some of the best dialog that I've ever read, nothing wasted, and this quote is typical of that whole style.

  3. Love the tattoo photo. I'd like to have something similar someday but I just can't decide on the quote!

  4. I absolutely love Dickens, Stefanie, but my hatred of pain is the equal of my love for Dickens, so I don't think I'll end up with arms looking like those in the photo. :-)